SANTORINI, GREECE

I’ve always wanted to go to Santorini as it’s the most famous Greek island and it’s advertised to be The Destination for couples. Who doesn’t feel tempted when typing #santorini on Instagram to find photos of gorgeous blue and white coloured- houses? Oia is the main attraction, small but extremely famous village right next to the sea but little did the pictures show the reality of the situation behind peaceful pictures; mass tourism. Joe even realised that he’s rarely seen Asian people on European beach destinations (I agree) but Santorini was full of rich and stylish, young Asians.

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Oia’s famous “white houses” bit is mainly or if not completely just extremely expensive hotels and suites with your private pools (starting 600e per night) but it’s the sight we all want to see, some of us even sitting down hours before sunset to make sure we get that good picture without any unknown people in it (admitted!). But if I’m completely honest, Santorini was a complete chaos. Apart from the area we stayed, next to a mountain and fields with donkeys, horses and goats relaxing it wasn’t a chilled out destination. Compared to Kos, anyway.

I have to establish here that we are a bit different when it comes to travelling: we don’t like clubbing or partying (anymore – been there, done that!) We are always looking for nice, quieter areas where we can breathe and really, really relax. At times it just seemed impossible to fully get there in Santorini – for example if we wanted to go around the island, there are so many buses and no information provided on the bus stops. Fira, the main village, didn’t even have a proper bus station. All the buses were just there, and you had to ask at least 5 people to find the right one amongst multiple buses.

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Another downside was prices. In a restaurant in Kos, me and Joe would walk out of a restaurant with a 14e bill. In Santorini it would be well over 20e. Now, if a week in Santorini is your only holiday during the year, then you don’t probably look at the prices too much. We are backpacking for half a year, so we do care about how much we’re spending (TIP: If you’re off to an expensive destination and don’t want to eat out all the time, look for accommodation with cooking facilities) .  Although, when we did eat outside, food was well delicious and worth the price. In Oia we even discovered a restaurant with a seaview with a pasta dish for 17e, so you’ll find cheap(er) if you really look for it!

Accommodation: Marina’s studios (30e/night)

Favourite restaurant: Falafeland (vegetarian friendly)

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